Jeff council looking at two CDBG applications

A pair of Community Development Block Grants (CDBGs) were on the Jefferson city council’s Nov. 10 agenda.

The council set Dec. 8 as the date for a public hearing on an application for a CDBG for an owner-occupied housing rehabilitation program.

Prior to that decision, Karla Janning of Region XII Council of Governments briefed the council on the program. The program could fund as many as six projects at a maximum cost of $24,999 and is intended to help income-eligible homeowners improve the energy efficiency or life safety of their homes. Windows, roofs, furnaces or electrical updates are priorities. The assistance is provided as a five-year forgivable grant, with 20 percent forgiven each year the homeowner continues to live in the home.

The city carried out a similar program four years ago, but the northeast quadrant of the city was targeted. This time, Region XII put out a call to all city residents and received 93 pre-applications.

Typically a city matches $2,500 for each project, Janning said. She added that in some locations banks, businesses and other organizations also put funds into the program. There is no cost to the homeowner to participate.

The grant application is due Jan. 16. The city council must to make a determination before the Dec. 8 public hearing of what city funds will be put into the project.

The council also took action toward completing an application for a CDBG for rehabilitation of the fronts of the historic buildings around the courthouse square.

The council accepted a recommendation from a committee including council members and Jefferson Matters: Main Street board members to hire the Franks Design Group of Glenwood to provide architectural services. Franks will prepare the slum and blight assessments and inventory needed for the application, as well as concept-level design graphics and construction cost estimates for all properties participating in the program.

Franks was the architect for the recently completed Manning CDBG-funded façade rehabilitation project. That project has been cited often by Jefferson Matters: Main Street board members as one they want to replicate.

The city will pay Franks’ fees as part of its matching funds for the $250,000 grant. That grant application is due in February.

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